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Festival rehearsal notes from Grieg Ashurst – download and mark your music!
Hi Area 6! My name is Adam Philley. I have served as your Louisiana State Chair for the last 2 years. I grew to love handbells while studying for my Bachelor’s Degree in Sacred Music under the direction of Mary Caldwell. Since then my love has blossomed into a great relationship with bells. I think handbells are one of the greatest assets we have as church musicians and music educators to teach the fundamentals of music to a new generation.
Like many of you, I work full time as a church musician. I focused my graduate education on choral conducting. I also teach voice and piano at Centenary College of Louisiana, direct a semi-professional vocal ensemble and music direct many shows at the local community theatre.
One of our challenges as choral directors and singers is to maintain a good vocal technique while still achieving an overall blend. How do we accomplish good vocal technique and a great choral sound? I don’t have all the answers but I hope I can get you started on a journey of helping each of your singers understand their voice better and the importance of singing with their full instrument. There is truly a sense of liberation when we allow ourselves to be fully invested in our own voice as we contribute to the ensemble as a whole. So often we think that we must put aside part of ourselves, our instrument, to become part of the ensemble. However, I believe that it is only when we allow ourselves to give completely that we find the greatness of what choral music can be. I will be leading a workshop on this topic, Group Vocal Technique. We will explore some fun warm ups, some basic vocal pedagogy and some new techniques and ideas that I hope you will find helpful. The nature of our field is collaboration. We depend upon each other to make music. I hope that we can foster conversation about what works for you and we can learn from one another as well.
I look forward to meeting many of you this summer and I can guarantee that the 2017 Festival will be a great time for everyone!